Early every morning, the chefs of Joey’s Restaurant peruse Cleveland’s markets for the freshest vegetables and meats to incorporate into marinara-oozing lasagna, sherry-sautéed scampi, or Sicilian-style pizza. Chefs adhere to authentic family recipes that have been in use for more than 30 years, starting with fresh batches of homemade noodles that soak in sauces such as marinara, alfredo, or garlic butter. Servers set down dishes on red-checkered tables, organizing the plates family-style so each guest can sample and share dishes without having to compete for bites in a fierce game of musical chairs, and the exposed brick in the dining room adds a romantic air to a night on the town.
Danny Boy's is a neighborhood, Rat Pack–themed Italian foodery with walls covered in records and photos of Frank Sinatra. Start a meal with garlic bread with cheese ($6.99) while perusing a classic Italian menu, which features salads, woogie melts, Rat Pack pizza starters, and more. The Hammy Davis Jr. stuffs sliced ham, ricotta, feta, fresh basil, tomatoes, house Italian dressing, cheddar, and crumbled bleu cheese into a baked doughy monument ($7.99). Frank's appetizer pizza pie is wall-to-wall EVOO, pepperoni, cheese, black olives, tomatoes, ricotta, and Italian spices ($8.99), and a plain cheese pizza ($9.99/six piece) can be customized with toppings, such as mushrooms, pineapple, and Canadian bacon. Uptown toppings, such as meatballs, artichoke hearts, and grilled shrimp ($1.50–$7.50) turn any standard disc into a visually stimulating feast.
Eddie's Pizzeria Cerino serves fresh Italian dishes crafted with the fusion of family recipes and modern culinary experience. Owner Eddie Cerino's passion for food began in his grandmother's kitchen, where he would watch her prepare meals for friends and family. He took in the aromas and witnessed how, like receiving a paycheck delivered by puppies, her dishes would brighten guests' spirits. When forging his pizzeria's menu, Eddie combined his family's cherished recipes with techniques and flavors he discovered over the course of his career. Today, guests indulge their cravings with entrees prepared under the direction of a Cerino family member, such as gourmet pizzas topped with wild mushrooms and sausage and butternut-squash ravioli in a butter-sage sauce.
Nestled within the Cuyahoga County Airport, J B Milano's casual dining room entices travelers with maroon cloth napkins and burgundy leather chairs stippled in brass studs. Tabletop lamps throw light on exposed white brick walls and tablecloths sewn from pages of SkyMall. To pair with these decorative trimmings, JB Milano's dishes out homemade Italian fare from a menu of classic recipes.
Grumbling stomachs silence with comforting plates of pastas or withering stares from open-faced prime-rib sandwiches on toasted rye. Veal and fish filets arrive enveloped in savory breading and topped with such ingredients as artichoke hearts, capers, and delicate wine sauces. Hearty steak dishes, meanwhile, arrive at tables artfully arranged on sparkling white plates.
When La Dolce Vita Bistro's chefs aren't serving the crowds of diners during Little Italy's annual Feast of the Assumption Festival, they craft iconic Old-World cuisine for the restaurant's diners. The chefs dedicate themselves to the dishes' original flavors by ordering entire bales of Italian parsley and importing plum tomatoes through the Atlantic Ocean's subterranean tunnels. These ingredients add a distinctive Italian essence to the menu of oven-crisped pizzas, freshly blanched pastas, and sautéed veal tenderloins. Outside the kitchen, the atmosphere gets a dose of Italian essence from classic Italian films that, according to Gayot, are screened against the dining room's back wall. While taking orders, servers can help diners complete their meals by recommending wines from the 200-bottle-strong list.